The Boston Red Sox met the Tampa Bay Rays for game two of their four-game series with lefty Chris Sale on the mound to face the righty Jake Odorizzi on Jackie Robinson Day. All players wore the number 42 around MLB to honor Robinson.
After recording the first three outs, Odorizzi came up lame after throwing a first-pitch changeup to Mitch Moreland in the second inning. The righty threw a few warm-up pitches, but it was quickly determined that the injury would not allow him to continue.
Erasmo Ramirez replaced Odorizzi after a prolonged delay since the righty reliever was unprepared to enter the game and relievers coming in after an injury receive as much time as they need to get warmed up. Perhaps he needed more time though, because Moreland greeted the first pitch with a solo shot, his first home run with the Red Sox. Ramirez then retired the next three batters to end the second inning with the Red Sox up 1-0.
Sale walked Kevin Kiermaier to begin the third inning, and Steven Souza hits a single following a Tim Beckham strikeout. Peter Bourjos then went down swinging before Evan Longoria evened the score with an RBI single. It was the Rays third baseman’s second hit against Sale in 23 career at-bats. Rickie Weeks then drew a walk to load the bases, but Sale notched his fifth strikeout of the day to end the threat.
Ramirez was replaced by right-handed Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the sixth. Ramirez had tossed four innings, giving up one earned run on the Mitch Moreland homer. The righty allowed two other hits and struck out two.
Hunter was perfect in the sixth inning, but ran into trouble in the seventh after Sale threw a spotless top of the inning. The righty surrendered back-to-back singles by Moreland and Xander Bogaerts before getting Pablo Sandoval to ground into a forceout at second base, erasing Bogaerts. Hunter then walked Chris Young, loading the bases and resulting in the end of his day.
Lefty Xavier Cedeno came in to relieve Hunter and induced a first-pitch Sandy Leon groundout to second base that scored Moreland from third and put the Red Sox up 2-1. Cedeno then intentionally walked Dustin Pedroia and retired Andrew Benintendi on a grounder to shortstop Tim Beckham.
Sale was lifted in the eighth for righty Matt Barnes. The lefty went seven innings, allowing one run on three hits while whiffing 12.
Barnes started his outing by striking out Brad Miller, but then walked back-to-back hitters to bring up Longoria. The righty managed his first strike in eight pitches after falling behind in the count 2-0, then induced a ground ball to Sandoval for the 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Rays called on Jumbo Diaz to pitch the bottom of the eighth and he kept the basepaths clear and the score at 2-1.
Craig Kimbrel entered the game in the top of the ninth, attempting to notch his fourth save of the season. The Red Sox closer struck out the first two batters he faced before getting Logan Morrison to ground into the final out of the game. Chris Sale earned the win, his first for his new team.